#609 | Friday, January 4th 2002
September 11th, 2001 I was in my car driving to the hospital anticipating the birth of my best friends second child. I am 30 years old with an adopted daughter, and having never given birth myself, my friend invited me to share in her experience. During my drive, my only thoughts were how beautiful the day was, the sky was blue and perfect, the sun was shining, I was elated. It was 8:50am when the broadcast interrupted a song on the radio, A plane had crashed into the world trade center...I admit my first thought was that this was a terrible accident. I changed the radio station and the same information was broadcasting on each channel. I stopped at a red light and looked around me as I saw people pulled off to the side of the road, listening to the same news, my eyes locked with a man sitting in his car next to mine, and it hit me...as I said a silent prayer, this was no accident. With a chill up my spine and tears in my eyes I began to drive again. Arriving at the hospital, my friend was in her room, in labor. I phoned my husband and as I was discussing the event with him, we all watched the smoke billowing from the first tower, broadcasting live on tv..suddenly there was a second plane, right before our eyes, crashing into the second tower, within minutes, amongst great confusion, there were pictures of the Pentagon on fire, yet a third plane down. We live in Pennsylvania, and soon there were local broacasts of a fourth plane, way to close to home. I was in total shock as I calmly asked my husband to please pick up our daughter in school, while at the exact same moment I saw a man and woman on the tv screen, holding hands as they jumped together from the flaming twin towers. I would be home as soon as my friend had her baby, I was not going to leave her until then, I explained. For the next eleven hours, I stayed by my friends side while listening to accounts of the world news from the doctors and nurses coming in and out of her room. Thousands lost. At 8pm, September 11th, 2001 I witnessed the most amazing gift ever, a beautiful baby boy, born by cesarean. Even the doctor had tears in his eyes during the birth. There were 11 baby boys born in that hospital that day. As I stood and watched them all in the nursery, I could hear the tv playing in the waiting room next door...still acounting the devastation of the day. I can not put my emotions, from that moment, into words. It all came full circle, because I knew then, that for every life lost, there was a soul born. We will go on, and we WILL prevail.
Erica Klinger | 30 | Pennsylvania

#602 | Wednesday, January 2nd 2002
I'm a 17 year old junior in high school, and I live in Pittsburgh. I was at my 4th period gym class when a whole group of teachers and staff members went in and told everybody in my class to take a seat against the back wall of the room. I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on, I thought we were in trouble or something. Then one of the teachers said to us, "Do all of you know about terrorists"? Me and most of the other kids said yes. Then one of the teachers suddenly said, "terrorists just crashed planes into the world trade centers and the pentagon. I was totally shocked beyond disbelief. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It took me a while to realize that they weren't making this up and that it was true. At the same time, my dad was on a business trip in Washington D.C. I was so worried about him that I had to call my mom at home to make sure he was ok. I go to two different schools during the same day, and when I caught my bus at 12:15 to go to my other school, we rode on the highways through downtown Pittsburgh and the entire city was completely desolate and empty because it had been evacuated. This was just like a movie, I couldn't believe it was actually happening. Then when I got to my other school, they were showing the news footage of the twin towers being hit, and then collapsing, over and over again. I listened to what was going on on my Walkman the whole way home. Then when I got back into my house me and my mom watched the news for hours. I watched it on TV for the rest of the day and stayed up all night watching it too. I'll never forget that terrible, horrifying day as long as I live.

Mark Hirschman | 17 | Pennsylvania

#566 | Sunday, December 23rd 2001
i was at work when the news broke. at first it looked like an accident, but after the second and third plan hit,the horror of it set in. how could any one do this to us, and why? we soon learned the answers to those questions. my feelings have tempered some what from 9/11. i no longer feel anger and distrust for every one of middle eastern decent, but i don't know if i will ever be as unbiased as i once was. and just how do you explain to a 6 year old grand daughter a horror that she should never have been exposed to? i have changed some things in my life. i donated money to the rescue effort, have american flags in my car windows, and at home. i now only buy stamps with flags on them. i watch the news every night, to listen and learn. little things, silly perhaps, but importent to me. i had even tried to see their point of view, but it always comes back to this. they have no point. they were, and are, evil bullies. i believe our response is appropriate, and i believe we should continue untill terrorism is no longer a threat.
sharon | 54 | Pennsylvania

#561 | Saturday, December 22nd 2001
I WAS AT WORK, BOEING DEFENSE, PHILA. WE WERE STANDING OUTSIDE FOR A BREAK WHEN A FRIEND CAME OUT & TOLD US OF THE 1ST ATTACK. NO ONE BELIEVED HIM TILL WE WENT BACK IN AS THE 2ND ONE HIT. AS WE WERE WORKING, NEWS OF THE PENTAGON ATTACK WAS ANNOUNCED ON THE RADIO. PEOPLE WENT TO OUR CAFETERIA TO WATCH CNN ON THE 2 BIG SCREEN TV'S. WHEN THE NEWS CAME ON THAT A 4TH, PROBABLY RELATED CRASH OCCURED OUTSIDE OF JOHNSTOWN, PA. ASIDE FROM THE STUNNING SHOCK, WE HAVE THE MEMORY OF OUR PLANT SUPER. TELLING EVERYONE THEY WERE ON CO. TIME & TO "GET THE HELL BACK TO WORK"- @ THIS TIME HE WAS BODILY THREATENED & LEFT TO, WE PRESUME, GO BACK TO WORK. WE DRIFTED BACK TO WORK, THEN WE JUST WENT HOME. 9/11 IS ALSO MY WIFES BIRTHDAY- REVERSING OUR EMOTIONS.
WM. G. THOMPSON | 56 | Pennsylvania

#556 | Thursday, December 20th 2001
I work for the DOD in procurement and September 11th was a stand down day for aquisition excellence. Many of us were in a closed door meeting. Nothing was said to us. At 10:00 we had a break and I heard a rumor about WTC and just brushed it off as just that a crazy rumor. At 11:15 our morning meeting was over, but we were told the afternoon session was cancelled and that we were to proceed to our vehicles and drive home. The the entire compound was now closed!
I passed a conference room and someone was watching TV, at first glance I thought it was a movie. Then the person watching told me what had happened.
At first I was in shock! I went to my car, got in line to exit the compound with the radio on a news station I found myself pounding on the steering wheel and shouting "Bastards". I pulled off the road and cried. Then went to several of our defense contractors to see how they were handling the news. Then I went home and sat in front of the TV in disbelief. After a sleepless night. I remember going to pick up the newspaper at the end of the driveway. As I picked it up I said "please God let what happened yesterday be a nightmare". But the headlines brought me back to reality.

Carmen Malizia | 52 | Pennsylvania

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